Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

How to watch Blue Origin launch New Shepard rocket live


Jeff Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin launched its New Shepard rocket for the ninth time. Its effectiveness is essential to ensuring the safety of any people who might ride aboard the capsule in the future. The rocket and crew capsule system is aimed at the suborbital tourism market, allowing paying customers to enjoy into a few minutes of zero-G flight prior to a parachute-assisted landing.

After launch, the reusable New Shepard booster will climb to an altitude of 62 miles (100 kilometers), the internationally-approved boundary of space, and then proceed to land nearby.

This was the third trip to space for both this New Shepherd rocket booster and the crew capsule, both created to be reusable like SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster and Dragon capsules.

TESTING. TESTING. Blue Origin wasn't the only company testing the waters with this New Shepard rocket launch; the rocket's capsule contained a variety of devices and experiments for scientists and educators conducting microgravity research.

The high-altitude emergency abort test is created to figure out what may happen when there's a problem with the launch rocket, according to Engadget.

The reusable New Shepard rocket settles to a picture-perfect touchdown.

During the launch, Blue Origin engineers were looking for the "red line" on that system, company spokesperson Ariane Cornell said on a webcast during the run-up to the launch, comparing it to the high-stress tests that cars and airplanes undergo before being put on sale.

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The test flight also carried 12 payloads and even a passenger - specifically an instrumented dummy brilliantly named "Mannequin Skywalker".

Experiments hitching a ride on the test flight Wednesday include a privately-developed in-cabin WiFi transmitter, and a package of NASA sensors to measure cabin pressure, temperature, carbon dioxide levels, acoustic conditions, and acceleration inside the crew capsule.

Blue Origin has not started selling tickets for seats on commercial New Shepard flights, but Reuters reported last week the flight opportunities are expected to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000.

In a brief statement announcing Wednesday's flight, Blue Origin offered no further details on the objectives or the technical parameters for the planned high-altitude escape motor test. "It's coming", she said.

One payload, called "Fly My Stuff", included personal items supplied by company employees.

LC-11 will be used to test fire New Glenn engines, while LC-36 will be the launch site for the orbital rocket that is being placed to take on other vehicles in its class, such as those from SpaceX and United Launch Alliance.

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